Decision-Making and Disambiguation in Japanese-to-English Literary Translation: An Application of Game Theory

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Author: Richard Donovan, Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, Japan
Email: rdonovan@nufs.ac.jp
Published: August 2012
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijah.1.1.04

Citation: Donovan, R. (2012). Decision-Making and Disambiguation in Japanese-to-English Literary Translation: An Application of Game Theory. IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijah.1.1.04


Abstract

Jiří Levý’s 1966 paper "Translation as a Decision Process" applied game theory to translation studies in an attempt to characterise and explain the decision-making processes of the translator and the linguistic and socio-cultural forces that inform these processes. The current paper employs some of his conclusions in the context of Japanese-to-English literary translation, addressing in particular the vexed issue of disambiguation. It draws upon examples from Kawabata Yasunari’s novella Izu no odoriko, and its published English translations The Izu Dancer by Edward G. Seidensticker and The Dancing Girl of Izu by J. Martin Holman.

Keywords

game theory, literary translation studies, disambiguation